Hadraawi was born in Burco, situated north West Somalia, currently Somaliland. Hadraawi grew up in
Aden Yemen where he began attending a local school where he received the nickname “Hadraawi”
(Abu Hadra), a pseudonym by which he is now popularly known. He worked as a teacher in Aden.
After Somalia gained its independence, Hadraawi relocated from Aden to Mogadishu, the nation’s
capital, and began working for Radio Mogadishu. In Mogadishu, he both attended and later
taught at Lafoole (Afgooye) University. He also worked for the government’s Department of
Information. Aside from the love lyrics he was political commentator and critique of the military
regime in Somalia. Consequently he spent many years in jail. Hadraawi is now a professor at Burco
University and lives in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Hadraawi recently told an international magazine that “Without poetry we would not exist as a
society. It can rouse thousands of people in a minute and demobilize thousands in a minute. As the
stomach needs food, so the brain needs beautiful words” (Globalpost, February 2012)
In 2012, Hadraawi was awarded the Prince Claus Award for his contributions to peace through his
Translations about one of his most known poems visit this link: poetrymagazines.org.uk